Bubble-Wrap Knuckles – A Poem By Carol J Forrester #DVersePoets

Fireworks popping off underneath skin,
an explosions against the brickwork.
Blood so bright it burns my retinas
and when I dreamed I can see it,
the splash,
the sizzle of colour.
My own fists tight as un-popped corks
deep in my dressing gown pockets,
buried under lint and hidden things,
like the sound of bone
crack
on plasterboard,
always plasterboard,
this fuse pulled taught between my shoulders
unlit
and your face so dark with thunder
the crash of it in a plate on the kitchen floor,
slowly starts to clear.

I feel like I need to preface this poem with the fact that it is not a description of a real event, or specifically based on one real individual. We’ve had sporadic fireworks for the last couple of weeks, so if anything, those are the main source of inspiration. Right with that out of the way, here’s an audio recording of the poem, and a note to say go and check out the rest of the poems written for tonight’s DVersePoets sound prompt.

Down To The Bones Of It #DVersePoets #Quadrille

Spent an evening smashing holes

in the walls you’d fixed,

and smoothed with filler.

Waited for the dawn to discover

the bones of this house

now naked of plaster.

Wondered if I looked as broken,

beneath.

If I would catch light

just as quickly.

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After The Lights Go Out #FridayFlashFiction

‘The council started turning the light off after twelve,’ she tells me, head tipped back as she squints towards the spot above us where a bulb should be blazing. The dark means we can’t see chewing gum stuck to the pavement beneath us, or worse the dog shit stains clinging to the concrete slabs.

She’s continues staring upwards, but tips her head to the leg slightly, angling herself my way.

‘He’s dating again. Met her at the village green when he went to try his hand at bowls. He’s crap, but on Wednesdays she’s always there to make him a cup of tea and sneak him a bourbon from the club tin.’

The street light splutters into life and we both frown.

‘Strange…’ she hums. ‘I was sure the papers said… oh well never mind.’ She drops her head and her neat, grey perm stays exactly as it should. ‘Are you busy these days?’

‘Busy?’ I repeat. I think about it for a moment, then shrug. ‘I suppose I’m busier than I was, but I’ve been working on getting some help to handle the bigger cases. That makes things easier.’

She hums again, and nods her head.

Across the road a light comes on in the bungalow with a gravel driveway. The curtains twitch, then settle, and the light goes out. 

‘Her name’s Edith, or Edna I think. Not many of those left these days, though I hear the old names are coming back into fashion.’ She brushes her hands down her trousers and fiddles with a loose thread. ‘He might even love her.’

‘That’s good isn’t it?’ I ask, and know it’s a mistake as soon as the words are out. She shivers and closes her eyes.

‘It’s good,’ she replies eventually, but her voice quivers. ‘It will cut me-‘

‘Free?’ I suggest.

‘Loose,’ she finishes. ‘There will be no more anchor for me here.’  

‘There’s no such thing as un-tethered souls,’ I remind her. ‘Once he moves on you will find your place.’

She laughs and the bulb above us hisses and flickers.

‘The stories always tell us that it’s the dead who move on to another place and leave the living behind. I didn’t think it would be the other way round.’

‘Life is often back to front and upside down,’ I say. ‘Why should death be anything different?’

‘Why indeed.’ She bites her lip and presses the back of her hand to her mouth.

‘I hate all this watching,’ she admits and scowls at the little bungalow with the gravel drive. ‘I hope she gets him to weed a bit more often, the place is starting to look like a jungle.’

I squint at the single dandelion near the drive’s edge, then feel her take my hand in her own.

‘Thank you,’ she says, squeezing my palm. Her’s are warm, and soft, mine not so much but she holds onto it anyway.

‘It’s no trouble,’ I tell her. ‘You are my responsibility after all.’

She smiles and pats our hands with her spare one.

‘Soon,’ she promises. ‘You will take me home soon.’

Ghosts don’t haunt us. That’s not how it works. They’re present among us because we won’t let go of them.

Sue Grafton

I stumbled onto the quote above on Paul Vincent Cannon’s site. He’s written a lovely poem bases on it, and after I read the poem I went back to the quote and thought ‘there’s a story here.’ So I decided it was time for some Friday Flash Fiction. It’s mostly free-write, with the odd tweak and typo fix here and there, but it was a fun little exercise sparked by a fantastic quote.

Who says inspiration is a myth.

 

To Town #WeekendWritingPrompt

She call them lollygagger,

adjusted the folds of her scarf,

let them watch her fingers

trace the sweep of her collarbone

like a wink

but not an invitation.

 

Clutched at the other hand

with smaller, damp digits

unsure eyes flickered from her

to the jackal-backed boys

circling their cigarettes,

tongues dragging across their teeth.

 

Nothing to be afraid of dear.

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As Sure As The Orbit Of The Sun #DVerse

One of the men lifted his head

and looked at me

as we sloped past the ash fields,

and rows of toilers

like grey bamboo canes

if bamboo was stooped and bent

with brittle hands knuckle white

against the plastic handled hoes.

 

Her hands, smaller, firmer, sure,

came down on my shoulders

shadowed his face with fear.

 

An explanation in a classroom

pretending it isn’t an excuse

claims to be progress,

claims to be a new world

built on the broken bones

of the last.

 

Mothers scream during childbirth.

There is blood and pain

and sometimes

death.

 

We are lucky we are not all toiling.

If the old world had their way

who knows what would have happened?

We are smarter these days

we can laugh at the facts

that shattered when the world changed.

 

Who know what will happen

at the next night rise.

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